Spring in Seoul highlight: Visiting Deoksugung Palace and Jeongdong area

Today we will introduce a great place to go in spring in Seoul.

We want to highlight calm and peaceful places where nature and history come together amongst the modern buildings in the middle of the city. After the long and cold winter months, we are all expecting to see the spring to come with birds chirping and flowers blossoming Korea is geographically situated in a temperate climate zone at medium latitude. As a result, it has four distinct seasons. In general, spring is from March to May.
Spring in Korea is from March onwards till May with flowers blooming.
Many of you must have heard about the Gyeongbokgung Palace (Royal Imperial Palace) but what about the Deoksugung area?

We recommend the Deoksugung Palace as Gyeongbokgung is the main palace and might be crowded at times. However, Deoksugung is a bit less popular but doesn’t mean it’s not nice! it is conveniently located in the very center of Seoul, just right in City Hall and is a mix of Korea and western Korean flavors.

Also around the area there are also other activities. so let’s start the day from the morning! You will experience a Korean Royal Palace, walk around the historic area and learn about the history, see the city from an observatory, enjoy some nice coffee and also have shopping time!


 

1. Insadong

In the morning, we recommend to pick up your hanbok from a special Hanbok shop in Insadong
Why?

Hanbok is the traditional Korean costume and it really fits with the environment in with Hanok (traditional Korean architectures) and you can take amazing photos!
Because it’s free entrance to all the Seoul palaces if you wear hanbok under one condition:

make sure if you’re a male wear a man’s hanbok and female wear woman’s hanbok. The reason is because wearing hanbok to the palace is considered to be sacred and traditional practice in Korea so they hope you respect the genders to grant you free entrance!

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Book here for HANBOK – We recommend this hanbok shop as they have more than 600 styles for hanbok and make your hair look fabulous!!


2. Deoksugung

Now we are going to Deokugung !

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photo from deoksugung web site

There are several palaces in Seoul but we recommend Deoksugung palace and Jeongdong road this time.

Located at the corner of the busiest intersection of downtown Seoul near City hall, Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road(덕수궁 돌담길) . It is the only one Palace that has western buildings beside it, and it adds to the uniqueness of the scenery. in the spring days of march, walk around this area and you will see the beautiful scenery of Deoksugung, Inwanasn, Bugaksan, Gwanghamun birds eye view.

How to get there: Seoul City Hall Station (line 2 ) – Seoul city Hall square

Entrance fee : 1000 won (9am- 9pm)

FREE : under 6 & over 65 years / Free entrance when wearing Hanbok /Last Wednesday of each month: (Culture Day)

 

What to do at Deoksugung?

1) Guard change ceremony

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– Highly recommended event for tourists. It is free and held three times a day in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace. As each ceremony follows the same procedure and lasts for 40 minutes, visitors can choose whichever time is most convenient. It is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene. You will the guards’ splendid costumes, with their brilliant primary colors, are a pleasure to view. While you cannot take pictures with the guards during the changing of guards, you can take a background picture of the guards and palace.
Times: Every day except for Mondays and extremely Hot/Cold days: at 11:00AM-11:40AM / 2:00PM-2:40PM / 3:30PM-4:30PM

– You can also take photographs with the gatekeepers after the ceremony is over. Visit the palace and enjoy the beauty of Korean palaces following the ceremony. So make sure to bring a camera!!

2) Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway (덕수궁 돌담길)

The “Deoksugung Doldam-gil” literally means Deoksugung Stone-wall Road. It surrounds Deoksugung Palace and Stretches approximately 1km in length

Famous for the cherry blossom lane Deoksugung Palace Stone-wall Road reaches Jeondong area from the palace. There are over 20 benches and 130 trees along the road offering great places to rest and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

You might think that Walking along Deoksugung Palace Stone-wall Road is a memorable experience, romantic and ideal for a date spot . In spring, cherry blossoms, Ginko tress and maple trees in autumn, like snow flower in winter

BUT! you SHOULD NOT come with your lover !

Why? well it’s an urban myth that couples who walk the Deoksugung Stonewall walkway cannot escape the fate of breakup!

It is said that the road is cursed and many Korean people believe it because actually there used to be the law courts for divorce in the area and you must follow this road to reach the court. So many couples who were getting divorced walked on this street!

The road is quite famous that’s why lots of Kpop songs use it as a subject.

One of the artists that you might know is Girls’ Generation Yoona. Her solo song 덕수궁 돌담길의 봄 (Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway) exactly talks about the SPRING TIME at the stonewall and the story that the couple is together and won’t break up!

Check it out here

MUSIC VIDEO :

3) Deoksugung FREE Guide tour

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It is held at 10:30am+ 1:30pm (in ENGLISH) and 10:00am +2:30pm (in CHINESE) for 1 hour each . Check the official website for the most updated times: http://www.deoksugung.go.kr/eng/index.asp
The Palace was famous for the King Gojung who was Korea’s second last King. he stayed there as his main palace and he loved westernization. In the palace you can see the Korean architecture but also a few western buildings. Learn about the stories behind the palace from the palace’s professional tour guide !

4) The Jeongdong Observatory

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This is one of the highlights that many may not know , even for the Koreans!

How to get there ?

From the front door, Daehanmun of Deoksugung, walk 10m left to Jeondong road, there is also the Jeongdong Observatory , Annex Building of Seoul City Hall, where you can go the 13th floor to view the panoramic aerial view of Seoul and the Deoksugung Palace . See the photo we took when we went!

What’s there?

Open daily from 9am – 9 pm weekdays and 9am to 6pm on the weekend, the floor used to be offices of Seoul city hall but it changed to open to the public a few years ago as an observatory floor
When you arrive you will see a lot of informative wall drawings of the Jeondong area, history of Deoksugung and most of all a panoramic view looking over the Deoksugung Palace and the city hall area.

What’s Best of all? it is FREE ENTRANCE!
It even has a coffee shop which is very reasonably priced and serves great coffee! Definitely a great place to rest after the walking tour at the palace!

5) Other activities

Following the road it will lead to, if you are interested in museums,
You can visit the Seoul Museum Art (서울시립미술관) and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (국립현대 미술관 – 덕수궁 미술관), Seoul History Museum (역사박물관)

Or you can watch some famous Korea non-verbal shows like Fireman, Jump or Nanta
See our discount tickets here:


So if you are coming to Seoul for a few days and are interested in going to the places above , the best way is to hire your own in Seoul city!

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